On August 10, 2023, the New York City Department of Transportation and Department of Design and Construction announced the completion of their pedestrian safety improvements in Jamaica, Queens. The goal of the pedestrian safety improvements is to create a more inviting space for residents to enjoy Downtown Jamaica and reduce the amount of car crashes resulting in serious pedestrian injury in the area.
On Parsons Boulevard between Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue in Queens, sidewalk space has more than doubled, the distance to cross Parsons Boulevard has been significantly reduced and there is a new pedestrian island. All improvements come from the Jamaica NOW Action Plan which utilizes community visions to revamp Downtown Jamaica. Public space improvements have been at the top of the community’s wish list, with safety improvements specifically to Parsons Boulevard between Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue being at the forefront of discussion.
DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez stated, “New Yorkers deserve streets and public spaces that are safe, vibrant, and welcoming for all. This project will make Parsons Boulevard safer and better for the community and those who visit. I thank our partners at DDC, the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative, elected officials, and community members for their collaboration.”
Council Member Nantasha Williams stated, “This investment into pedestrian safety is much needed and greatly appreciated. Parsons Blvd and the Downtown Jamaica area grow more vibrant every day, and we look forward to making this neighborhood an even more walkable community where constituents can live, work and play in safety.”
Meanwhile, a mere 2 blocks away on Jamaica Ave, Ydanis and the DOT made some public spaces that are pretty vibrant and welcoming too. Safe? Not so sure. Also not sure how much they spent on usurping parking spaces for lounging by busy traffic and a bus lane.